Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt has changed ‘guidelines’ throughout the years. Here’s a short guide that will help you identify a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt.
1995 – The Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt Is Born
The Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt made it’s first appearance in 1995. One of the most popular Treasure Hunts was released at that time – the pearl white w/orange rally stripes ’67 Camaro. New to the hobby or not, I’d assume you already know about this one. 1995 Treasure Hunts were released with Real Rider wheels.
On the card, white text reading “TREA$URE HUNT SERIES” was centered on a green horizontal stripe A note also on the card indicated that they were limited to a run of 10,000 pieces. 12 cars were released in the series.
1996 Treasure Hunts
Not much changed in 1996 regarding Treasure Hunts. The cars all still wore Real Rider wheels but the limited release was upped from 10,000 pieces to 25,000 pieces. Like 1995, 12 cars were released in the series.
1997 Treasure Hunts – A Slight Change
1997 brought a change to the Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt series. All castings part of the 1997 series were released without Real Rider wheels. The card was changed a bit as well – the limited number of pieces was no longer displayed. Rumors are plenty but the quantity of each Treasure Hunt from 1997 on is unknown.
1998 – 1999 Treasure Hunts
Not much changed between 1998 – 1999. Green stripe on card. General happiness. Well, except for the fact the Real Riders were still missing…
2000 Treasure Hunts
The 2000 Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt series saw the return of Real Rider wheels on 11 out of 12 castings. Lakester (5/12) was the only one to have standard mainline wheels.
2001 Treasure Hunts – Some with Real Riders, Some Without.
2001 was similar to 2000 – it was a mixed release. Some Treasure Hunts (7) had Real Rider wheels while others (5) did not.
2002-2006 Treasure Hunts
The Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt didn’t change very much in these years. Real Riders ( for the most part). Green stripes.
2007 – 2011 Treasure Hunts – Here Comes The Tiered System
2007 saw the introduction of the tiered system. The Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt could now be found in two different styles – regular and super. Unlike the previous years, the regular, more basic Treasure Hunts DID NOT have Real Rider wheels. Aside from the green striped card, these cars appeared to be nothing any more special than a regular mainline release. Limited production is assumed and by still being part of the Treasure Hunt series, they were difficult to find.
Aside from the regular Treasure Hunts, Super Treasure Hunts were also found. The Super Treasure Hunts were similar in paint scheme to their regular versions but instead of standard paint, the Supers wore Spectraflame paint. Supers wore Real Rider wheels. The $ sign was used one the card to denote Super Treasure Hunts. Some cards read “TREA$URE HUNT”, “T-HUNT”, or “T-HUNT$”. This tiered system ran unchanged from 2007 – 2011.
2012 Treasure Hunts – SSSHHHHHHH, It’s Super Secret
2012 saw the introduction of what is referred to as ‘Super Secret Treasure Hunts’. While the regular hunts remained unchanged on green stripe cards, the Super Treasure Hunts were released into the mainline on non-specific cards. Standard nonTreasure Hunt releases were found as well. Aside from the card change, Super Secret Treasure Hunts remained the same.
2013 Treasure Hunts – The End of the Green Stripe
2013 saw the end of the green stripe Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt card. Now both regular Treasure Hunts and Super Treasure Hunts were released on unmarked cards. The only thing that signified a regular Treasure Hunt as such was a small flame logo that was found on the car. This lead to a lot of confusion between what is and what isn’t a regular Treasure Hunt.
It seemed that the Combat Medic caused the most confusion in 2013. The casting wears the flame symbol as part of another graphic. Regular Treasure Hunts had the flame separate from any other graphic. Castings prior to 2013 wearing the flame logo ARE NOT TREASURE HUNTS! On US cards, a logo and text can be found behind the car on the card that states “This symbol on the vehicle let’s you know it is hard to find and highly collectable.”. As a note, collectible was spelled incorrectly on all releases.
2014 thru 2023 Treasure Hunts
Not much changed between 2014 and 2023. The same type of system that was used in 2013 applied to this span.